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The increase in omicron numbers appears to be slowing in many parts of the world, the World Health Organization said, but a secondary factor that scientists believe is more contagious is on the rise, and the decline in testing has clouded the global picture.

New cases worldwide fell 19 percent from February 7 to February 13, compared to the previous week, according to an agency.

The World Health Organization also said that Variant of Omicron, BA.2 Prevalence appears to be “steadily increasing” and BA.2 is now dominant in several Asian countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Denmark was the first country to report that BA.2 was outperformed by BA.1, the Omicron version that swept the world for the first time.

Scientists said there is no evidence that BA.2 is more lethal than BA.1 BA.2 Can Slow Down Omicron. Vaccines appear to be just as effective against BA.2 as they are against other forms of Omicron.

Omicron’s wave has yet to culminate in what the agency calls Western Pacific The region that includes Oceania, the Pacific Islands, and East Asian countries such as China and South Korea that recently celebrated Lunar New YearA holiday period that usually includes large family gatherings. The World Health Organization reported that cases in the region rose by 19 percent last week.

In the Pacific, two island nations that did not have confirmed cases until recently, are now struggling with the arrival of the virus. In Tonga, a the outbreak It began after ships provided aid to help the country recover from a volcanic eruption and tsunami in January. and the Cook Islands She reported her first case last week.

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The World Health Organization said the number of cases was declining in other regions. But cases are still rising in parts of Europe, including Slovakia, Latvia and Belarus. And in Russia, new cases have increased by 79% over the past two weeks, According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

On Wednesday, Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for Covid-19 at the World Health Organization, warned that a drop in testing rates around the world means that global case numbers reported may not reflect the true spread of the virus.

“We need to be careful when interpreting this downtrend a lot” She said. She said the biggest concern was the increase in reported deaths from Covid-19 for the sixth consecutive week.

World Health Organization Middle Eastern The region, which includes the Middle East, recorded the highest number of deaths, and the Western Pacific region ranked second, according to the World Health Organization.

In the Americas, many countries Didn’t move fast enough to slow BA.1’s transmissionAnd they should be better prepared for any version of the coronavirus that comes next, World Health Organization officials said Wednesday.

Dr Carissa F Etienne, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said: Pan American Health Organizationadding that “a new variant can appear at any time”.

Daniel Politi Contribute to the preparation of reports.

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